PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Whenever confidence is identified as a public speaking problem it is usually in terms of too little confidence.  The typical discussion is about the fear of public speaking and how to overcome it.

Something needs to be said about the seldom recognized problem of too much confidence.

People who speak regularly as subject matter experts can get to a point where they no longer believe they need to prepare extensively or practice.  Early in their careers they spent hours crafting a message and practicing its delivery.  Now they rely on no more than a general idea of what they want to talk about and a few notes.   After all, they are experienced speakers with extensive knowledge of the topic.

Their over-confidence has them believing they can easily deliver a good message with a minimum of preparation and no practice.

Listen to one of these speakers and you will often hear a talk that contains some good material, but it doesn’t come together to form a single, coherent message.  There is a free-association nature to the piece that can—in the worst cases–include so many tangents that the overall listening experience is maddening.

No matter how well you know your stuff, a good speech or presentation is going to take time to prepare and is going to require some practice.  Confidence is not a license to wing it.  Your audience deserves better—particularly from a subject matter expert.

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